Daily Harvest -- 8/8/2013
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Peterson: Farm bill process resembles horror movie
- (Subscriber only) A feisty Rep. Collin Peterson vowed not to give up fighting for a new farm bill even though he told participants attending the 30th International Sweetener Symposium that the process is a “bit like being locked in a horror movie.”
Agri-Pulse: U.S. cotton payments to Brazil may end due to lack of farm bill, Vilsack says
- Top U.S. agriculture officials put their Brazilian counterparts on “advance notice” that the United States may have to soon end the annual $147.3 million in payments that have been staving off retaliatory measures as part of the ongoing cotton dispute, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said today.
Agri-Pulse: Soybean leader frustrated with Congress
- (Audio) The president of the American Soybean Association said it’s easy to question if the House is committed to passing a farm bill and is disappointed that they would not make better efforts to pass the legislation, as well as a transportation bill.
Agri-Pulse: Budget experts outline post-recess challenges for Congress
- While a “grand bargain” on tax and entitlement reform seems out of reach by the end of the fiscal year, focus will soon shift to the pressing deadlines for appropriations levels and the debt ceiling, noted top budget and policy experts at a meeting for agricultural economists.
Daily Yonder: Broadband Availability: Geography Matters
- When the Census Block data is aggregated to the county level (which allows for breakouts of different levels of rurality) and mapped, it becomes apparent that broadband availability varies greatly across the country.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: Cargill posts substantial increase in quarterly earnings
- Agribusiness giant Cargill reported today a large jump in net earnings of $483 million in the fourth quarter of FY 2013, up from $73 million in the same period a year ago.
USA Today: Experts who decide on food additives conflicted
- A study out Wednesday finds that the scientists who judge the safety of food additives work for the additive manufacturers or for consultants they've hired.
Reuters: Fonterra CEO says supply contracts intact after food safety scare
- New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra insisted that its customers were sticking to their supply contracts with the world's largest dairy exporter for the moment, even as Singapore expanded its recall of milk formula products containing a tainted ingredient produced the company.
Business Insider: Fancy French Fries Are The New 'It' Food At Upscale NYC Restaurants
- French fries are appearing on unlikely New York City menus, according to the New York Daily News. Upscale restaurants are rethinking the side and upselling it alongside more traditional items
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Reuters: Exclusive: Syria seeks to tap frozen bank accounts for food supplies
- Syria is trying to tap frozen funds in foreign bank accounts to step up purchases of food stocks including wheat, as civil war and a deepening humanitarian crisis push President Bashar al-Assad to seek new ways to feed his people.
Policy Mic: China is Forcing 250 Million Rural Dwellers to Relocate
- Over the next two decades, the Chinese government is expecting to move 250 million rural inhabitants to cities and towns. It is to be revealed that 21 million people each year are projected to migrate.
Wall Street Journal: USDA’s Role in Smithfield-Type Deal May Be Limited
- Some U.S. senators say the USDA and FDA should be added to the committee examining the Smithfield purchase to look for any risks to the U.S. food supply. On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack hinted that his involvement might not matter anyway in such deals.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: 'Blend wall' could be toppled by more E85 use, study finds
- The E10 “blend wall” is an economic barrier that can be overcome, and Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements can be met in 2014, by increasing incentives for drivers to use E85, according to a study released today by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).
Bloomberg: Ethanol Credits’ Drop Scant Relief for Refiners: Energy Markets
- Even after yesterday’s 14 percent decline, the price U.S. refiners are paying to comply with a 2007 law that requires companies to blend ethanol with gasoline is at least 10 times more than at the start of the year.
The Hill: Gas lobby pledges to keep up pressure on biofuel program
- A day after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2013 levels for the amount of biofuel that refiners are required to mix in with conventional gasoline, industry officials pledged to press the agency to be more accommodating next year.
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Wall Street Journal: Some Democrats Waver on Immigration
- Every Democrat voted for the Senate's immigration bill when it passed the chamber in June. That unanimous party support isn't likely to be replicated if the House votes on its own immigration effort this fall.
Food Safety News: Bond Hearing Set for Thursday in Horse Slaughter Case
- U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Hayes Scott has postponed until Aug. 8 the bond hearing to determine how much the Humane Society of the United States and other plaintiffs should have to put up to obtain injunctive relief against two companies prepared to go into the horsemeat packing business.
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